Web Design & Local SEO for Small Businesses

Pippas Web

Pippas Web story – it was just the beginning

Owner of Pippa Web

When I was growing up my parents splashed out and we had our own computer (just like the ones we had at school the BBC “model B” that loaded games via a tape recorder, and you could programme with simple little codes to do draw on the screen. I loved playing with it, and tried the coding several times from codes in the odd book or magazine my Mum had found. I used the computer on and off through my school and college life, but not to any big extreme, just the basics.

Then in 1997 I moved in with my then fiancé and other than the flat one of our first big buys was a home computer. I couldn’t see the point of having a computer at home. He was the one pushing for it, he’s heard about the Internet and couldn’t wait. Me I wasn’t fussed and was just looking forward to re-learning the wordprocessor and spreadsheets. However after we got it, I spent more and more time on the Internet finding more and more things of interest to learn.

Then I found a site that let you create your own website, “ wow how exciting”, but what could I possibly do it on. Other than being on the computer and working I didn’t do much but my Hubby played cricket for his local friendly side. So I thought I’d do a site for them to share team news etc. so I created my first site. Over the next few years I found out that you could learn a code to create sites not just use the online software, but didn’t have the time or now where to start learning it. However having slipped down some steps at work and one swollen ankle later meant that I had some time one my hand so I spent the week with an online course teaching myself HTML on the computer, my foot up resting. So having worked through the course I wanted a challenge. So I decided to re-design that cricket club web site and coded every page by hand. Well that site did the trick the club loved it, and I was really proud of my achievement.

From there I created several different sites over the years for different reasons but all for either me or my family. I created a site for my Mum who had re-trained as a hypnotherapist and a year or so later for a theatre group. I got enough feedback from people that they loved the sites that I decided to do more reading to see how i could develop my own html coding. So through online courses again I learnt about CSS and JavaScript, and then turned my attention to SEO (search engine optimisation) to help my Mum’s site out.

I was working as an analyst for a utilities company when I went on maternity leave with my second child, my department was relocated 45mins down the road. So I took the opportunity to leave and decided to give Pippas Web – web design a try to see if there was a need for my work. So here I am, this is me and my story.
So what can you take from this to start out on your own.

Enjoy what you do – find something of interest , a hobby, a craft, computer coding. If you’re going to go into business for yourself, then you want to enjoy what you do.

Continue to learn – read around your chosen business, expand your knowledge, the theory and then learn new related skills things that will give you an edge.

– what do they want from you, do you need to change anything, do you need to be able to do anything different?
Make the most of your opportunities – I had a week off work, where all I could was sit there. I made good use of that time by teaching myself a new skill. You never know where that new skill might just take you.

This is my story why not share yours with me below.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short – You ARE Clever.

Last night, I was making some changes to the Cricket Club website ready for the new season, when my husband turned and said what to him was a heartfelt comment,

 

“You are clever, aren’t you”

I took it almost as a throw away comment because to me, I don’t feel clever, I think what I do, everyone could do, so what make me special.

• I’ve taught myself HTML and CSS,
• I’m learning, developing and using SEO skills,
• I run my own business.

Yet I still don’t think of myself as clever????? Time for a change of mind set I think.

Then I got thinking about it and I realised that I and probably many others are just selling ourselves short. Our interests and skills are OURS, we learned them, we put the effort in, something’s are easier than others to learn or do. However something’s are harder for other people but they still do it.

As part of learning, developing and your SEO campaign you’ll be busy reading blogs, articles and websites from people in your area of expertise. This can have a two-fold effect

It can help you learn new things, give you new ideas,

or

it can make you think all these people know so much more than me.

Don’t let yourself worry about or get upset about the second one. Remember that chances are the person behind the blog your reading has been working in this area a lot longer than you. But behind the blog, the article is a real person, just like you.

For your own blog, it’s your personality as well as your knowledge that people are interested in, try to put something of you into everything you do, it’ll give you more personal satisfaction, and make it more interesting for you readers.

Value Your own judgement, Your knowledge. Use others as a source of knowledge, a source of authority for your link building, but Not Gods, they’re real people using their knowledge and experience to their advantage so go forth and do the same.

I’ve told you why I’m clever, so now it’s over to you.  Please leave a comment below to tell me and everyone else,  what you do that is clever too.

To see how Pippasweb could help your start up or small business, check us out.

New Year Resolutions 2011

I have been promising to do more work on this blog and now seems as good a time to get going on it.
My New Year Resolution is to post at least two posts a week, on Monday and Friday.

My plan is to try start at the beginning and give info for small businesses, the first post has already been posted today about 5 things to consider when naming your business.

The posts will include:

  • tips for small businesses and how to set one up.
  • Web design information and tips
  • SEO things you can do to help your own site.

This blog is here to empower you, so whether you use it to develop your own website, or just to give yourself an understanding before employing someone, (after all you have your own business to run too).

I will also post onto the blog in between if I can with, but I have to be realistic with my time.  My kids come first, clients sites second and then my own site and blog.

So don’t miss out, subscribe to the blog using the options on the right and receive the posts directly to your inbox, or blog reader.

What are your business New Year Resolutions?  Why not share them here.

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Pippas Web 1st Birthday

Wow it’s now been just over a year since Pippas Web first paying customer. I’m so happy, I couldn’t have had a better start to running my own business.

A quick round up.

1) Customers came with ideas and I made them into reality, into real sites that have helped them to generate more business.

2) Customers we’re so impressed they told their friends, and a lot of business has come recently from referrals

3) I have increased my services from just web design to include regional SEO and even more recently hosting for the sites created using flash-based technology.

Things are now slowing down for Christmas, although I do have some work lined up for early in the new year, so no time to relax. It also gives me time to stop and re-focus my efforts for the Pippas Web site, plan the blogs I want to do, that I never got around to this year.

I would like to thank, everyone that’s been involved with Pippas Web during this last year, and Wish that 2011, is a prosperous time for us all.

To see how Pippas Web could help your business, check us out.

Happy Customer – Lucy Owen Catering Company

I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, but I’m still busy working on sites, SEO for others and of course my own site, as well as preparing to move house in the next two weeks, looking after the children……  Therefore the blog I’m afraid does tend to suffer.   I do try and keep my fan page updated every couple of days so if you need a short fix come check us out.

However I got a wonderful email last night, that helped me to see it is all worth it.  What I do, the site I create help other people and their businesses.

Let me introduce you to Lucy Owen Catering Company run by Debbie Saunders.

Lucy Owen Catering Company is a family run, home-based catering company in Hampshire.  Creating wonderful food using locally sourced produce where possible. So whatever your event; business, party, engagement, christening, baptism, wedding, civil ceremony or funeral they have a buffet menu for you.

We designed the website at the end of last year and due the company doing well Debbie needed to add additional menus onto to the site a few months later.

This is what Debbie has to say.

“Thank you so much for all the help and guidance you have given me. I have been singing your praises to anyone who has commented on the website. I’ve had nothing but complimentary things said about it.”

Customer: Debbie Saunders- Lucy Owen Catering Company.
Service: Original site design and additional pages.
Site: http://www.lucyowencatering.co.uk/

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

The Advantages of Professional Web Design vs Doing it Yourself

OK so you’ve decided that your business needs a website.  Congratulations!
You’ve probably got ideas running through your head about what you want to go on YOUR site, but the next choice is, who will create your site?
The two options
1) Hire someone to create your site.
2) Do it yourself.

OK firstly lets look at the idea of you creating your site.

There are many sites out there, that can help you to build without the need for learning any code, for example, http://www.doyourownsite.co.uk/ or http://www.webs.com/ or http://www.moonfruit.com/ .
Building your own site will Save you Money, and it will give you a great sense of achievement watching your site appear before you. However, depending on how you decide to create your site, you will need to learn about how to design a site, and then how to promote it afterwards, in order to make it work for you.  A big positive is You can use your own ideas. You don’t have to try and explain to a web designer, how you want your site to look like.

Choosing a designer has its advantages.

You may have your ideas about what you want on the site and how you want it to look, but the designer has more experience about what does and doesn’t work.  It sounds strange but just choosing a different site colour and logo could stop someone from leaving your site immediately, a designer can help with this.
Getting professional help may include SEO (search engine optimisation) preparing your site ready for Google and the other search engines to help get a better ranking.  You can do this yourself, and my facebook page and this blog will offer ideas of you can, however it can be very time consuming so do you have the time?

OK so a designer will cost you money, and that amount may vary depending on who you get to do it.  As with anything else I suggest you get some quotes.  If you’re a new start up company or a sole trader then you budget is likely to be tight, (This is where Pippas Web comes in).  So the cheaper option of doing it yourself may appeal, but weigh this up against the time it will take you, to learn to do and to promote your site. This is all time that may we be better spent  doing what you know best, running your business, and let the designers do what they do.

 

Happy Customer – Freelance Proofreader Claire Arnold BA (Hons)

I’ve not really added my own testimonials yet, tending to rely more on visual examples of my work than peoples’ responses. But this week I received a wonderful testimonial that I thought I should share with you.

In a world where my computer guesses what word I want to use and then tells me how to spell it, a whole host of arguments between me and my spell checker about the differences between spellings in the USA and the UK just add to my confusion.

Now let me introduce you to Claire Arnold BA (Hons), who is a Freelance Proofreader.
A proofreader is someone who will read your documents, your website; indeed, anything you write, including checking it for errors and, most importantly, give you the corrections. (Personally, I usually get my poor hubby to read my posts or pages before they go live to get him to pick up the worst, but he doesn’t have that much interest in what I’m writing.)
The documents can be essays or dissertation for students, company documents or advertising. Documents can be paper (hard copy), digital or even online. Even websites and blogs can corrected before going live.

I’ve been helping Claire make some small changes to her website to get it ready for customers and hopefully optimising it ready for Google to find and list it.

This is what Claire has to say.

“I recently employed Pippa’s services for help with my website. I was extremely happy with the professional, friendly service I received. She was always there with brilliant advice and suggestions, as well as making amendments to my site that greatly improved all aspects of my site. I would not hesitate to recommend her for her skills in web design, as well as fantastic customer service.”

If you’re interested in using Claire’s proofreading services, she has kindly made the following discounted offer:
*If you mention “pippasweb” when you contact Claire, you will receive 25% off.

Customer: Claire Arnold – Proofreader.
Service: Current Site – Update.
Site: http://www.proofreaderpro.moonfruit.com/

To see how Pippasweb could help your business, check us out.

Testimonials

Pippa is very generous with her time, not afraid of a challenge and knows her stuff.

Helen WhiteHelenka White Design